Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Festival Friday - Why you should book Brighton Festival 2016 tickets today

A concert for dogs, one date. The Ex-Greek Finance Minister, one talk. Free family day at East Brighton Park, one Sunday only. 150 events, 20 new commissions and this year Brighton Festival celebrates it's 50th anniversary.

Brighton Festival 2016
Clairire Urbaine

Friday 26 February is an important date, it's the day the Festival opens to the general public for bookings. The month of May might seem a long way off but after ten years of attending (and missing out on) events I'm telling you from experience what a lot of people know already, book right away.

To help in this task I've picked out a choice few (only TEN) that sound fun, stimulating, interesting and unmissable.

Whether an allotment trail with a tale about an eccentric Shakespearean expert or a dance show where the performers never lift their feet sounds appealing. Or maybe a film about an elderly couple who refuse to leave their home in the Chernobyl exclusion zone or a talk on austerity by the ex-Greek Finance Minister sounds intriguing. Read on for inspiration, links and important information.

Ten Events at Brighton Festival 2016

1) The Two Gentlemen of Verona with Globe Theatre on Tour


My first recommendation does take place on more than one day but I promise you this will get snapped up. Globe on Tour are top of their game. They make Shakesperean language easy to follow and make it funny. Add a picnic (bring your own) with a cheeky glass or two of something sparkling, a little dip with something crunchy and a blanket. Larks.

Brighton Festival 2016

Wed 25 - Sun 29 May 2016  at 1:30pm (Thurs, Sat, Sun) and 6pm

2) At Home - A 21st Century Salon


Only two dates for this interesting opportunity to mingle in a salon. I'm fascinated by the salons of the eighteenth century and this sounds sparkling. Home Live Art will take up temporary residence in the reputedly beautiful restored Regency townhouse on Brighton seafront. I'm in. Boystitchers will up-end the notion of lady's at their needlework, poet Jonny Fluffypunk will be sharing his thoughts on becoming a dad and there'll be something behind a door.

Brighton Festival 2016

Fri 20, Sat 21 May 2016  at 2pm (Fri only), 6pm and 9pm

3) Yanis Varoufakis


Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis talks about the history of the European monetary union. He is a passionate campaigner against austerity, and argues that this is a fundamental threat to Europe and to the global economy. He also shows that the origins of the Eurozone crisis lie not with governments or the banks but in its founding structure. Joined by Channel 4 economics editor and Guardian columnist Paul Mason they talk about the current crisis and present his case for economic reform.

Brighton Festival 2016

Tues 10 May 2016  at 7:30pm

4) Correction by VerTeDance, Jiri Havelka and Clarinet Factory

£10, £15, £17.50

A dance where the dancers don't move their feet. In a world where you can't progress despite your best efforts, every effort to push off is corrected. This is only on for two nights Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 May at 7.30pm in Theatre Royal Brighton.

Brighton Festival 2016

Tues 24 - Wed 25 May 2016  at 7:30pm

5) Luminary by Ron Haselden


In the printed programme there's a note at the end that invites residents of Hanover and Carlton Hill to get in touch if they would like to host one of Haseldens' light drawings. The installation takes beautiful LED light-drawings at locations across the city ranging in scale from monumental, at Fabrica, to intimate, as they shine out from people's homes.

Brighton Festival 2016

Sat 7 - Sun 29 May 2016  at 12pm - 7pm

6) Zvizdal by Berlin

£15, £17.50

The theme of the Brighton Festival's 50th year is Home and Place, themes very close to my own heart. This particular film stood out to me. An elderly couple choose to live in their home despite no running water, electricity, telephone or mail. P├ętro and Nadia live in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which they have refused to leave since the explosion of 26 April 1986.

Brighton Festival 2016

Mon 23 - Wed 25 May 2016 at 8pm

7) Music for Dogs by Laurie Anderson

FREE (ticket required)

One of the events put on this year by the Festival's Guest Director Laurie Anderson and possibly one of the most anticipated. So, this one in particular you need to put your name down for right away if you're interested and can bring a pup pup. Taking place at the Brighton Open Air Theatre this concert is designed to entertain dogs by using pitches dogs can hear.

Brighton Festival 2016

Tues 10 May 2016  at 7:30pm

8) Digging for Shakespeare by Marc Rees


Just outside of Brighton lived an eccentric Shakespearean scholar James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. Following a trail through allotments, attendees will discover knitted characters, participate in a seed swap and be driven back on a Lemon bus to central Brighton as part of the experience.

Brighton Festival 2016

Sat 7, Sun 8, Sat 14, Sun 15, Sat 21, Sun 22 May 2016  at 10:30am and 2:30pm 

9) A Weekend Without Walls at Easthill Park and East Brighton Park


Taking place on Sun 15 May, 12 – 5pm at East Brighton Park, Whitehawk this is free to attend and looks like a really fun family day out. There will be a dance that everyone can learn and join in, an urban astronaut, a hip hop mash-up as well as a horse that has lost his carousel for the little 'uns. Bringing a picnic is suggested.

Sat 14 Easthill Park, Portslade and Sun 15 May 2016 East Brighton Park at 12pm - 5pm

10) Clairiere Urbaine by Retouramont


Free, outside and in Kemptown, catch it at 3pm and 6pm on Saturday 21st May 2016. Aerial choreography in an urban clearing by a Parisian dance outfit, yes of course! The dancers will integrate into the architecture and populate the empty spaces between the buildings, monuments and thoroughfares of the urban jungle. Can't. Wait.

Sat 21 May 2016  at 3pm and 6pm

Whether it's because the Brighton Festival has a huge loyal following who know it's worthwhile booking early. Or because there are limited opportunities to catch events due to short runs, it's easy to miss out on some pretty great events. Click on this link to Brighton Festival to check out the full programme and more details.

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